Overview

Vitamin C is a vitamin. Some animals can make their own vitamin C, but people must get this vitamin from food and other sources. Good sources of vitamin C are fresh fruits and vegetables, especially citrus fruits. Vitamin C can also be made in a laboratory.

Most experts recommend getting vitamin C from a diet high in fruits and vegetables rather than taking supplements. Fresh-squeezed orange juice or fresh-frozen concentrate are good sources.

Historically, vitamin C was used for preventing and treating scurvy. These days, vitamin C is most commonly used for preventing and treating the common cold.

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19): Some experts suggest taking 200 mg of vitamin C daily for COVID-19 prevention or 1-2 grams daily for COVID-19 treatment. While these doses of vitamin C are likely safe, there is no good data to support benefit for COVID-19. Also, larger doses of 8 grams daily seem to have no benefit. If you opt to take vitamin C for COVID-19, be sure to follow healthy lifestyle choices and proven prevention methods as well.

How does it work ?

Vitamin C is required for the proper development and function of many parts of the body. It also plays an important role in maintaining proper immune function.

Uses & Effectiveness ?

Effective for

  • Vitamin C deficiency. Taking vitamin C by mouth or injecting as a shot prevents and treats vitamin C deficiency, including scurvy. Also, taking vitamin C can reverse problems associated with scurvy.

Possibly Effective for

  • Low levels of red blood cells in people with a long-term illness (anemia of chronic disease). Taking vitamin C supplements might help manage anemia in people undergoing dialysis.
  • Irregular heartbeat (atrial fibrillation). Taking vitamin C for a few days before and after heart surgery helps prevent irregular heartbeat after heart surgery.
  • Emptying the colon before a colonoscopy. Before a person undergoes a colonoscopy, the person must make sure that their colon is empty. This emptying is called bowel preparation. Some bowel preparation involves drinking 4 liters of medicated fluid. If vitamin C is included in the medicated fluid, the person only needs to drink 2 liters. This makes people more likely to follow through with the emptying procedure. Also fewer side effects occur. A specific medicated fluid containing vitamin C (MoviPrep, Salix Pharmaceuticals, Inc.) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for bowel preparation.
  • Common cold. There is some controversy about the effectiveness of vitamin C for treating the common cold. However, most research shows that taking 1-3 grams of vitamin C might shorten the course of the cold by 1 to 1.5 days. Taking vitamin C does not appear to prevent colds.
  • Limb pain that usually occurs after an injury (complex regional pain syndrome). Taking vitamin C after surgery or injury to the arm or leg seems to prevent complex regional pain syndrome from developing.
  • Skin redness caused by injury or irritation (erythema). Using a skin cream containing vitamin C might decrease skin redness following laser resurfacing for scar and wrinkle removal.
  • Airway infections caused by exercise. Using vitamin C before heavy physical exercise, such as a marathon or army training, might prevent upper airway infections that can occur after heavy exercise.
  • High cholesterol. Taking vitamin C might reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL or "bad") cholesterol in people with high cholesterol.
  • High blood pressure. Taking vitamin C along with medicine to lower blood pressure might help lower systolic blood pressure (the top number in a blood pressure reading) by a small amount. But it does not seem to lower diastolic pressure (the bottom number).
  • Lead poisoning. Consuming vitamin C in the diet seems to lower blood levels of lead.
  • Reduced benefit of nitrate therapy that happens when nitrates are used all day (nitrate tolerance). In some people who take medicines for chest pain, the body develops tolerance and the medicines stop working as well. Taking vitamin C seems to help these medicines, such as nitroglycerine, work for longer.
  • Pain after surgery. Taking 2 grams of vitamin C by mouth one hour before surgery might reduce pain and the use of pain medication after surgery. Receiving 3 grams of vitamin C by IV during the first 30 minutes of surgery might also help reduce pain. Taking lower doses of vitamin C for 6 weeks after surgery also seems to reduce pain and the use of over-the-counter pain relievers.
  • Wrinkled skin. Skin creams containing vitamin C seem to improve the appearance of wrinkled skin. A vitamin C patch also seems to help reduce wrinkles.

Possibly Ineffective for

  • Short-term swelling (inflammation) of the airways in the lungs (acute bronchitis). Taking vitamin C by mouth does not seem to have any effect on bronchitis.
  • Asthma. Some people with asthma have low vitamin C levels in their blood. But taking vitamin C does not seem to reduce the chance of getting asthma or improve asthma symptoms in people who already have asthma.
  • Hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis). Higher intake of vitamin C as part of the diet is not linked with a reduced risk of atherosclerosis. Also, taking vitamin C supplements does not seem to prevent atherosclerosis from becoming worse in most people with this condition.
  • Bladder cancer. Taking vitamin C supplements does not seem to prevent bladder cancer or reduce bladder cancer-related deaths in men.
  • Heart disease. Research on the use of vitamin C for heart disease is controversial. However, the strongest evidence suggests that that vitamin C does not prevent heart disease or reduce death due to heart disease.
  • Colon cancer, rectal cancer. Higher intake of vitamin C from food or supplements is not linked with a lower risk of cancer in the colon or rectum.
  • Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). High-dose vitamin C does not seem to speed up recovery from COVID-19 in people who have not been admitted to the hospital.
  • Death of an unborn or premature baby. Taking vitamin C, alone or with other supplements, doesn't prevent death of an unborn or premature baby.
  • Fractures. Taking vitamin C does not seem to improve function, symptoms, or healing rates in people with a wrist fracture.
  • A digestive tract infection that can lead to ulcers (Helicobacter pylori or H. pylori). Taking vitamin C along with medicines used to treat H. pylori infection doesn't seem to get rid of H. pylori better than taking the medicines alone.
  • A group of inherited disorders that leads to muscle weakness and numbness in the arms and legs. Taking vitamin C for one or two years does not seem to prevent nerve damage in people with inherited disorders that lead to muscle weakness and numbness in the arms and legs.
  • Eye damage in people taking drugs called interferons (interferon-related retinopathy). Taking vitamin C by mouth does not seem to prevent eye damage in people receiving interferon therapy for liver disease.
  • Cancer of the white blood cells (leukemia). Taking vitamin C does not seem to prevent leukemia or death due to leukemia in men.
  • Infants born weighing less than 2500 grams (5 pounds, 8 ounces). Taking vitamin C, alone or with other supplements, does not lower the chance of having a low birth weight baby.
  • Lung cancer. Taking vitamin C, alone or with vitamin E, does not seem to prevent lung cancer or death due to lung cancer.
  • The most serious type of skin cancer (melanoma). Taking vitamin C, alone or with vitamin E, does not prevent melanoma or death due to melanoma.
  • Miscarriage. Taking vitamin C, alone or with other supplements, does not prevent miscarriage.
  • Death from any cause. High blood levels of vitamin C have been linked with a reduced risk of death from any cause. But taking vitamin C supplements along with other antioxidants does not seem to prevent death.
  • Pancreatic cancer. Taking vitamin C together with beta-carotene plus vitamin E does not seem to prevent pancreatic cancer.
  • A pregnancy complication marked by high blood pressure and protein in the urine (pre-eclampsia). Most research shows that taking vitamin C with vitamin E does not prevent high blood pressure and protein in the urine during pregnancy.
  • Preterm birth. Taking vitamin C, alone or with other supplements, does not prevent preterm birth.
  • Prostate cancer. Taking vitamin C supplements does not seem to prevent prostate cancer.
  • Skin damage caused by radiation therapy (radiation dermatitis). Applying a vitamin C solution to the skin does not prevent skin problems caused by radiation treatments.
  • Blood infection (sepsis). High quality research shows that giving vitamin C by IV with or without thiamine does not reduce the risk of dying or the need for supportive treatment in people with sepsis.
  • Infants with birth weight below the 10th percentile. Taking vitamin C, alone or with other supplements, does not reduce the chance of giving birth to an infant with a birth weight below the 10th percentile.
  • Stillbirth. Taking vitamin C, alone or with other supplements, does not reduce the chance of having a stillbirth during pregnancy.

Insufficient Evidence for

  • Protein in the urine (albuminuria). Taking vitamin C plus vitamin E may reduce protein in the urine in people with diabetes.
  • Hay fever. Using nasal spray containing vitamin C seems to improve nasal symptoms in people with allergies that last all year. Taking vitamin C by mouth might block histamine in people with seasonal allergies. But results are conflicting.
  • Alzheimer disease. Higher intake of vitamin C from food is linked with a reduced risk of Alzheimer disease.
  • Lou Gehrig's disease (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS). Higher intake of vitamin C from food or supplements is not linked with a reduced risk of ALS.
  • Damage to the stomach and intestines caused by aspirin. Some research shows that taking vitamin C might prevent stomach damage caused by aspirin. But other research shows conflicting results.
  • Athletic performance. Taking vitamin C supplements might improve oxygen intake during exercise in teenage boys.
  • Prone to allergies and allergic reactions (atopic disease). Higher intake of vitamin C is not linked with a lower risk of eczema, wheezing, food allergies, or allergic sensitization.
  • Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Taking high doses of vitamins, including vitamin C, does not seem to reduce ADHD symptoms.
  • Autism. Early research shows that taking vitamin C might reduce the severity of autism symptoms in some children.
  • Brain tumor. Increased vitamin C intake has been linked with a 14% reduced risk of a type of brain cancer called glioma.
  • Breast cancer. It's too soon to know if higher intake of vitamin C from food helps prevent breast cancer from developing. But a higher intake of vitamin C from food seems to be linked with a reduced risk of death in people diagnosed with breast cancer. Also, taking vitamin C supplements after being diagnosed with breast cancer seems to help reduce the risk of dying from breast cancer.
  • Burns. Early research suggests that receiving a vitamin C infusion within the first 24 hours of severe burns may reduce wound swelling. It may also reduce the risk of in-hospital death.
  • Cancer. Higher intake of vitamin C from food is linked with a lower risk of developing cancer. But taking vitamin C supplements doesn't seem to prevent cancer. In people diagnosed with advanced cancer, taking large doses (10 grams) of vitamin C by mouth doesn't seem to improve survival or prevent cancer from getting worse. But high doses of vitamin C might increase survival when given by IV.
  • Cataracts. Higher intake of vitamin C from food is linked with a lower risk of developing cataracts. Some early research shows that people who take supplements containing vitamin C for at least 10 years have a lower risk of developing cataracts. But taking supplements containing vitamin C for less time doesn't seem to help.
  • Cancer of the cervix. Early research suggests that increasing vitamin C intake reduces the risk of cervical cancer.
  • Kidney damage caused by the drug colistin. Early research shows that giving vitamin C by IV doesn't prevent kidney damage caused by colistin.
  • Kidney damage caused by contrast dyes (contrast induced nephropathy). Some research shows that taking vitamin C before and after receiving a contrast agent helps reduce the risk of developing kidney damage. But other research shows that it doesn't work.
  • Surgery to improve blood flow to the heart (CABG surgery). Receiving vitamin C by IV before and during CABG surgery might improve blood flow after surgery. It might also slightly shorten the length of stay in the ICU. But IV vitamin C doesn't seem to improve some complications from cardiac surgery.
  • Tooth plaque. Chewing gum containing vitamin C appears to reduce tooth plaque.
  • Depression. Early research shows that taking vitamin C along with the antidepressant drug fluoxetine reduces depression symptoms in children and teens better than fluoxetine alone. But taking vitamin C along with the antidepressant drug citalopram does not reduce depression symptoms in adults better than citalopram alone.
  • Diabetes. Taking vitamin C supplements might improve blood sugar control in people with diabetes. But not all research agrees. Also, eating more vitamin C in the diet isn't linked with a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. But eating more vitamin C is linked with a lower risk of developing diabetes during pregnancy (gestational diabetes).
  • Heart damage caused by the drug doxorubicin. Early research shows that taking vitamin C, vitamin E, and N-acetyl cysteine may reduce heart damage caused by the drug doxorubicin.
  • Dry mouth. Taking vitamin E and vitamin C twice daily seems to reduce dry mouth in people getting radiation therapy for head and neck cancer.
  • Cancer of the lining of the uterus (endometrial cancer). Higher intake of vitamin C from food might be linked with a lower risk of endometrial cancer. But conflicting results exist.
  • Side effects caused by a certain procedure (endoscopy) used to view the inside of the body. Using a vitamin C 2% spray seems to reduce irritation and pain in people caused by endoscopy.
  • Cancer of the esophagus. Taking vitamin C along with beta-carotene plus vitamin E does not reduce the risk of developing esophageal cancer. But higher intake of vitamin C from food is linked with a lower risk of esophageal cancer.
  • Asthma caused by exercise. It is not clear if taking vitamin C can prevent asthma caused by exercise.
  • Muscle damage caused by exercise. Taking vitamin C before cycling does not appear to prevent muscle damage.
  • Gallbladder disease. Taking vitamin C might help to prevent gallbladder disease in women but not men.
  • Stomach cancer. Higher intake of vitamin C from food is not linked with a lower risk of stomach cancer in most research. Also, taking vitamin C along with other antioxidants doesn't seem to prevent stomach cancer. But taking vitamin C supplements might prevent precancerous sores in the stomach from progressing to cancer in people at high risk. This includes people previously treated for H. pylori infection.
  • Swelling (inflammation) of the stomach (gastritis). A medicine used to treat H. pylori infection, called omeprazole, can worsen gastritis. Taking vitamin C along with this medicine might decrease this side effect.
  • Gout. Higher intake of vitamin C from the diet is linked to a lower risk of gout in men. But vitamin C doesn't seem to help treat gout.
  • Hearing loss. Early research shows that vitamin C may improve hearing in people with sudden hearing loss when used with steroid therapy.
  • Complications after a heart transplant. Early research shows that taking vitamin C and vitamin E for a year after a heart transplant helps prevent hardening of the arteries.
  • HIV/AIDS. Taking high or low doses of vitamin C along with other antioxidants doesn't reduce the amount of HIV in the blood of people with HIV/AIDS.
  • HIV transmission. Taking vitamin C along with vitamin B and vitamin E during pregnancy and breast-feeding seems to reduce the risk of transmitting HIV to the infant.
  • High levels of phosphate in the blood (hyperphosphatemia). People with kidney disease who are undergoing dialysis often have high blood phosphate levels. Giving vitamin C by IV seems to reduce phosphate levels in these people.
  • Inability to become pregnant within a year of trying to conceive (infertility). There is early evidence that women with certain fertility problems might benefit from taking vitamin C daily.
  • Swelling (inflammation) and build up of fat in the liver in people who drink little or no alcohol (nonalcoholic steatohepatitis or NASH). Taking vitamin C along with vitamin E might reduce liver scarring in people with a type of liver disease called nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. But it doesn't seem to decrease liver swelling.
  • Cancer that starts in white blood cells (non-Hodgkin lymphoma). Higher intake of vitamin C from foods or supplements is linked with a lower risk of developing non-Hodgkin lymphoma in postmenopausal women.
  • Mouth cancer. Higher intake of vitamin C from food is linked with a lower risk of mouth cancer.
  • White patches inside the mouth that are usually caused by smoking (oral leukoplakia). Taking beta-carotene with vitamin C does not reduce white patches in the mouth or reduce mouth cancer in men that smoke.
  • Osteoarthritis. Taking vitamin C from dietary sources might prevent cartilage loss and slow onset of osteoarthritis.
  • Osteoporosis. Some research shows that vitamin C might improve bone strength. But higher vitamin C blood levels in postmenopausal women have been linked to lower bone mineral densities. More information is needed on the effects of vitamin C on bone mineral density.
  • Ovarian cancer. Higher intake of vitamin C from food is not linked with a lower risk of ovarian cancer.
  • Parkinson disease. Higher intake of vitamin C from food is not linked with a lower risk of Parkinson disease.
  • Narrowing of blood vessels that causes poor blood flow to the limbs (peripheral arterial disease). Higher intake of vitamin C from food is linked with a lower risk of developing poor circulation in women but not men.
  • Physical performance. Getting more vitamin C as part of the diet might improve physical performance and muscle strength in older people. But taking vitamin C with vitamin E does not improve muscle strength in women or in older men who are also doing a strength training program.
  • Pneumonia. Some research suggests that vitamin C might reduce the risk of pneumonia. It also might help people to recover faster from pneumonia. This effect seems greatest in those with low vitamin C levels before treatment. It's not clear if vitamin C is beneficial in people with normal vitamin C levels.
  • Recovery after surgery. Some research shows that giving vitamin C might help patients who have had heart surgery to recover faster. It might also lower the risk for some complications, such as infection. But not all research agrees.
  • Breaking open (rupture) of the amniotic sac before labor begins. Taking vitamin C alone during pregnancy might help prevent the amniotic sac from breaking before labor begins. But taking vitamin C with other supplements doesn't seem to help prevent the amniotic sac from breaking before labor begins. However, taking vitamin C plus vitamin E starting during the second or third trimester and continuing until delivery may help delay delivery in pregnant women whose amniotic sacs broke early.
  • Bed sores (pressure ulcers). Some research suggests that taking vitamin C does not improve wound healing in people with pressure ulcers. But other research shows that taking vitamin C reduces the size of pressure ulcers.
  • Inflammation and damage to the rectum due to radiation therapy. Early research suggests that taking vitamin C plus vitamin E might improve some symptoms caused by radiation therapy on the rectum.
  • Kidney cancer. Increased vitamin C intake has been linked with a 12% reduced risk of kidney cancer.
  • A disorder that causes leg discomfort and an irresistible urge to move the legs (restless legs syndrome or RLS). Taking vitamin C alone or in combination with vitamin E seems to reduce the severity of RLS in people receiving hemodialysis. But it's not known if vitamin C is helpful in people who are not on hemodialysis.
  • Stress. Early research suggests that vitamin C might reduce blood pressure and symptoms during times of mental stress.
  • Stroke. Higher intake of vitamin C from food seems to be linked with a reduced risk of stroke. But conflicting results exist. Taking vitamin C supplements doesn't seem to be linked with a reduced risk of stroke.
  • A serious infection caused by Clostridium bacteria (tetanus). Taking vitamin C along with conventional treatment appears to reduce the risk of death in children with tetanus.
  • Infections of the kidney, bladder, or urethra (urinary tract infections or UTIs). Research suggests that taking vitamin C does not prevent UTIs in older people.
  • Dementia caused by reduced blood flow to the brain (vascular dementia). Higher intake of vitamin C and vitamin E from supplements does not seem to be linked with a reduced risk of vascular dementia in Japanese-American men.
  • An eye disease that leads to vision loss in older adults (age-related macular degeneration or AMD).
  • Cavities.
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).
  • Sunburn.
  • Wound healing.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate vitamin C for these uses.

Side Effects

When taken by mouth: Vitamin C is LIKELY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth in recommended doses. In some people, vitamin C might cause nausea, vomiting, heartburn, stomach cramps, headache, and other side effects. The chance of getting these side effects increases the more vitamin C you take. Amounts higher than 2000 mg daily are POSSIBLY UNSAFE and may cause a lot of side effects. These may include kidney stones and severe diarrhea. In people who have had a kidney stone, amounts greater than 1000 mg daily greatly increase the risk of kidney stone recurrence.

When applied to the skin: Vitamin C is LIKELY SAFE for most people when applied to the skin.

When given by IV: Vitamin C is LIKELY SAFE for most people when given by IV by a health care provider.

When given as a shot: Vitamin C is LIKELY SAFE for most people when given as a shot into the muscle by a health care provider.

Special Precautions and Warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Vitamin C is LIKELY SAFE for pregnant or breast-feeding women when taken by mouth in amounts no greater than 2000 mg daily for women over 19 years-old, and 1800 mg daily for women 14 to 18 years-old, or when given intravenously (by IV) or intramuscularly and appropriately. Taking too much vitamin C during pregnancy can cause problems for the newborn baby. Vitamin C is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken by mouth in excessive amounts.

Infants and children: Vitamin C is LIKELY SAFE when taken by mouth appropriately. Vitamin C is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken by mouth in amounts higher than 400 mg daily for children 1 to 3 years, 650 mg daily for children 4 to 8 years, 1200 mg daily for children 9 to 13 years, and 1800 mg daily for adolescents 14 to 18 years.

Alcoholism: Alcohol intake can cause the body to excrete vitamin C in the urine. People who regularly use alcohol, especially those who have other illnesses, often have vitamin C deficiency. These people might need to be treated for a longer time than normal to restore vitamin C levels to normal.

Cancer: Cancerous cells collect high concentrations of vitamin C. Until more is known, only use high doses of vitamin C under the direction of your oncologist.

Kidney disease: Kidney disease is linked with vitamin C deficiency. Vitamin C supplements might also increase the amount of oxalate in the urine in some people. Too much oxalate in the urine can increase the risk of kidney failure in people with kidney disease.

A metabolic deficiency called "glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase" (G6PD) deficiency: Large amounts of vitamin C can cause red blood cells to break in people with this condition. Avoid excessive amounts of vitamin C.

Kidney stones, or a history of kidney stones: Large amounts of vitamin C can increase the chance of getting kidney stones. Do not take vitamin C in amounts greater than those found in basic multivitamins.

Smoking and chewing tobacco: Smoking and chewing tobacco lowers vitamin C levels. Vitamin C intake in the diet should be increased in people who smoke or chew tobacco.

Interactions ?

    Moderate Interaction

    Be cautious with this combination

  • Aluminum interacts with VITAMIN C (ASCORBIC ACID)

    Aluminum is found in most antacids. Vitamin C can increase how much aluminum the body absorbs. But it isn't clear if this interaction is a big concern. Take vitamin C two hours before or four hours after antacids.

  • Estrogens interacts with VITAMIN C (ASCORBIC ACID)

    The body breaks down estrogens to get rid of them. Vitamin C might decrease how quickly the body gets rid of estrogens. Taking vitamin C along with estrogens might increase the effects and side effects of estrogens.

  • Fluphenazine (Prolixin) interacts with VITAMIN C (ASCORBIC ACID)

    Large amounts of vitamin C might decrease how much fluphenazine (Prolixin) is in the body. Taking vitamin C along with fluphenazine (Prolixin) might decrease the effectiveness of fluphenazine (Prolixin).

  • Medications used for HIV/AIDS (Protease Inhibitors) interacts with VITAMIN C (ASCORBIC ACID)

    Taking large doses of vitamin C might reduce how much of some medications used for HIV/AIDS stays in the body. This could decrease the effectiveness of some medications used for HIV/AIDS.
    Some of these medications used for HIV/AIDS include amprenavir (Agenerase), nelfinavir (Viracept), ritonavir (Norvir), and saquinavir (Fortovase, Invirase).

  • Medications for cancer (Chemotherapy) interacts with VITAMIN C (ASCORBIC ACID)

    Vitamin C is an antioxidant. There is some concern that antioxidants might decrease the effectiveness of some medications used for cancers. But it is too soon to know if this interaction occurs.

  • Medications used for lowering cholesterol (Statins) interacts with VITAMIN C (ASCORBIC ACID)

    Taking vitamin C, beta-carotene, selenium, and vitamin E together might decrease the effectiveness of some medications used for lowering cholesterol. It is not known if vitamin C alone decreases the effectiveness of some medications used for lowering cholesterol. Some medications used for lowering cholesterol include atorvastatin (Lipitor), fluvastatin (Lescol), lovastatin (Mevacor), and pravastatin (Pravachol).

  • Niacin interacts with VITAMIN C (ASCORBIC ACID)

    Taking vitamin C along with vitamin E, beta-carotene, and selenium might decrease some of the helpful effects of niacin. Niacin can increase the good cholesterol. Taking vitamin C along with these other vitamins might decrease the effectiveness of niacin for increasing good cholesterol.

  • Warfarin (Coumadin) interacts with VITAMIN C (ASCORBIC ACID)

    Warfarin (Coumadin) is used to slow blood clotting. Large amounts of vitamin C might decrease the effectiveness of warfarin (Coumadin). Decreasing the effectiveness of warfarin (Coumadin) might increase the risk of clotting. Be sure to have your blood checked regularly. The dose of your warfarin (Coumadin) might need to be changed.

    Minor Interaction

    Be watchful with this combination

  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) interacts with VITAMIN C (ASCORBIC ACID)

    The body breaks down acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) to get rid of it. Large amounts of vitamin C can decrease how quickly the body breaks down acetaminophen. It is not clear exactly when or if this interaction is a big concern.

  • Aspirin interacts with VITAMIN C (ASCORBIC ACID)

    The body breaks down aspirin to get rid of it. Large amounts of vitamin C might decrease the breakdown of aspirin. Decreasing the breakdown of aspirin might increase the effects and side effects of aspirin. Do not take large amounts of vitamin C if you take large amounts of aspirin.

  • Choline Magnesium Trisalicylate (Trilisate) interacts with VITAMIN C (ASCORBIC ACID)

    Vitamin C might decrease how quickly the body gets rid of choline magnesium trisalicylate (Trilisate). But it is not clear if this interaction is a big concern.

  • Nicardipine (Cardene) interacts with VITAMIN C (ASCORBIC ACID)

    Vitamin C is taken up by cells. Taking nicardipine (Cardene) along with vitamin C might decrease how much vitamin C is taken in by cells. The significance of this interaction is not clear.

  • Nifedipine interacts with VITAMIN C (ASCORBIC ACID)

    Vitamin C is taken up by cells. Taking nifedipine (Adalat, Procardia) along with vitamin C might decrease how much vitamin C is taken in by cells. The significance of this interaction is not clear.

  • Salsalate (Disalcid) interacts with VITAMIN C (ASCORBIC ACID)

    Vitamin C might decrease how quickly the body gets rid of salsalate (Disalcid). Taking vitamin C along with salsalate (Disalcid) might cause too much salsalate (Disalcid) in the body, and increase the effects and side effects of salsalate.

Dosing

The following doses have been studied in scientific research:

BY MOUTH:
  • General: The daily recommended dietary allowances (RDAs) are: 90 mg for men and 75 mg for women; Pregnancy and Lactation: age 18 or younger, 115 mg; ages 19 to 50 years 120 mg. People who use tobacco should take an additional 35 mg per day. Do not take more than the following amounts of vitamin C: 1800 mg per day for adolescents and pregnant and breast-feeding women 14 to 18 years, and 2000 mg per day for adults and pregnant and lactating women.
  • For vitamin C deficiency: 100-250 mg once or twice daily for several days for scurvy.
  • For irregular heartbeat (atrial fibrillation): 1-2 grams of vitamin C per day for 1-3 days before heart surgery followed by 1-2 grams in two divided doses daily for 4-5 days after heart surgery has been used.
  • For emptying the colon before a colonoscopy: 2 liters of solution containing polyethylene glycol and vitamin C is used the evening prior to colonoscopy or as a split-dose taken on the evening prior to and the morning of colonoscopy. The most commonly studied product for this indication is MoviPrep (Norgine BV).
  • For treating the common cold: 1-3 grams daily.
  • For preventing limb pain that usually occurs after an injury (complex regional pain syndrome): 500 mg of vitamin C each day for 50 days starting right after the injury.
  • For airway infections caused by exercise: 600 mg to 1 gram of vitamin C per day for 3-8 weeks before heavy exercise has been used.
  • For a condition in which red blood cells are broken down faster than they are made (hemolytic anemia): 200-300 mg of vitamin C three times per week for 3-6 months has been used.
  • For high cholesterol: 500 mg vitamin C each day for at least 4 weeks.
  • For high blood pressure: 500 mg of vitamin C per day along with blood pressure-lowering medication has been used.
  • For treating the reduced benefit of nitrate therapy that happens when nitrates are used all day (nitrate tolerance): 3-6 grams of vitamin C daily has been used.
  • For osteoarthritis: 1 gram of vitamin C in the form of calcium ascorbate daily for 2 weeks has been used.
  • For reducing pain after surgery: 2 grams of vitamin C one hour prior to anesthesia has been used.
APPLIED TO THE SKIN:
  • For skin redness caused by injury or irritation (erythema): A formulation containing 10% vitamin C, 2% zinc sulfate, and 0.5% tyrosine applied daily for 8 weeks has been used.
  • For skin wrinkles from sun damage: Most topical vitamin C products are applied daily. Studies have used creams containing 3% to 30% vitamin C. Don't apply vitamin C preparations to the eye or eyelids. Also avoid contact with hair or clothes. It can cause discoloration.
BY IV:
  • For irregular heartbeat (atrial fibrillation): 2 grams of vitamin C once or twice in the day before heart surgery followed by 1-2 grams daily for 4-5 days after heart surgery has been used.
  • For reducing pain after surgery: 3 grams of vitamin C during the first 30 minutes of surgery has been used.
CHILDREN

BY MOUTH:
  • General: The daily recommended dietary allowances (RDAs) are: Infants 0 to 12 months, human milk content (older recommendations specified 30-35 mg); Children 1 to 3 years, 15 mg; Children 4 to 8 years, 25 mg; Children 9 to 13 years, 45 mg; Adolescents 14 to 18 years, 75 mg for boys and 65 mg for girls; Pregnancy and Lactation: age 18 or younger, 115 mg. Do not take more than the following amounts of vitamin C: 400 mg per day for children ages 1 to 3 years, 650 mg per day for children 4 to 8 years, 1200 mg per day for children 9 to 13 years, and 1800 mg per day for adolescents and pregnant and breast-feeding women 14 to 18 years.
View References

CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version. © Therapeutic Research Faculty 2018.